tv Tavis Smiley PBS October 23, 2013 12:00am-12:30am EDT
terry been i will be starting a association where one in 11 children go under -- go without food. this week, the tavis family foundation is launching ending nationala four-year initiative to examine barriers and examine solutions to alleviate poverty here in america. we will start that with andrew mccarthy, president and ceo of the casey foundation, dedicated to building better features for disadvantaged children.
the war on poverty, and only has it not been one, but we are losing battle after .attle game part ofick mccarthy is the charitable organization that has a leadership role in finding solutions that seems to be an intractable issue in this country. >> so happy to be with you. tavis: why -- tabby is it that we can seem to get
traction on a real conversation about alleviating poverty in america? when we think about our own growing up, we have talked about opportunity in this country. if you have worked hard and stayed hard and do it you are told, you can get ahead. i think that is still a core value that we have as americans. it is very hard for americans to hear that there are many fellow citizens and their children who are in poverty. it is hard to hear that, even as we struggle with the question of how do we keep folks on the path toward opportunity. tois difficult for people engage in that position. but we have to. you are -- tavis you are right, but there are so many americans in the million who are living the story. the numbers tell the story.
vested oro your less left or right, somebody struggling with this. how can you not get a conversation about it when this is not a poor story. i you, airing out in you and tax you are thanks i issues that part of the that there are major economic changes in the last 30 years. we have certainly entered a world of global competition. we have high productivity which brings the rices of their consumer is down. at the same time, there are fewer jobs available than there used to be back when manufacturing and they said
blue-collar jobs was for the basic maclaughlin style. even though we still talk about opportunity am a we have turned their face away from the reality that most of our family -- our fellow citizens are in the midst of. i will come back to children in just a second. on the issue of income inequality, what do you say about how we address this issue of incoming audrey? >> i think there is a number of things. we can't survive as a country with 30%-40% of our workforce and their potential sitting on the sidelines. that is what happens when you allow folks to fall into poverty and not allow the to purchase but in the economy. we have to breakfast as we have to recognize that we have to
widen opportunity, invest in early education especially, especially making sure that hl is on the cup to success, and folks on the path of opportunity. when it doesn't exist, the income inequality, the wealth inequality will just grow. i think the most serious problem that we have is that we are starting to lose that sense that where you and that doesn't end up where you started out. there used to be a sense that, no matter where you started out, you could be successful. it's going to be worse for my children going forward rather than better. my folks always talked about having a better life for the kids. and now, we are hearing more and more that folks don't believe in .hat anymore durin how you talk about
children who surrender their life chances? this issue of poverty came up and i talked. and black america, looking at the first generation of black americans who will not do as well as their parents, that is -- our ancestors must be turning over their grave with all the struggle and sacrifice and after all the love and arrived in thee ,ir of even a black president there is a dem indictment on what is happening inside.mac or. let me address this issue.
>> you are exactly on point. there is no simple answer. but there are you know national there are a number of things that we can do to -- but there is a number of things that we can do to address this. you have to figure out ways to hook people onto jobs here at make sure that those jobs pay enough to support a family. make sure that, where there is need for additional income support, that we provided for struggling family so they can get by. ebola wanted stomach is a college and own a home. they want to be successful. so we have to figure out ways to support them. , investing inme theparents, reinvest family. we have to invest in the children. we know, from lots of experience, that learning education -- the early education is critical for getting a young person on the path toward success.
we know that, when a child is reading professionally by third dating -- third grade, they are successful for the rest of their job -- for the rest of their lives. not.ey are not, they are we have a safety net that works. we are in the midst of a lot of economic change and economic turmoil and families are getting strapped and wrapped up in it. we have to have an employment insurance system that works. oflth care, childcare, all the basics the families need to survive in today's world here in tavis: i will -- today's world. get thoughts over the next four years. we have an opportunity to really push this issue of poverty higher on the market agenda. in 2014, we will celebrate 50
ofrs since the beginning johnson's war on poverty. it seems to me these are wonderful but dance between l.a. janella k, between the war on hurricane in the king-who are campaign. hoover campaign. next it, there will be a lot of politics played around the issue of the war on party and what it did and did not do 50 years later. so give me something that you think is debate will yield are not yield. to thaty, only get point in 2014, there will be a lot of commentary about what worked and didn't work. >> i think that's right. i would hope that what people will do is that he will look at
the facts and not just the rhetoric. they war on poverty is actually effective. don't seem to understand that, but that exactly what happened. we have war on party among seniors and we have changed how social security works. invested in medicare. the poverty among seniors has job significantly as a policy of the decisions we made in the 60s. so we did accomplish a lot on the war on poverty. but what we have to realize as well, in the last 40 years, we space for what works. we have a much better sense of what the tools are that we need to bring to bear with poverty and building it out toward opportunity. we just use what we know and put it to work. is there,the evidence why can't we get washington to get real about scaling up those things that do work?
a great question. washington and all politics is driven by rhetoric. too often, that kind of rhetoric push out the fact or the data that we need to lift up and pay attention to. i think that is really the job of folks like you, friendly, tavis. we know a lot more about what works and what we are using. let's put it to work. isis: dr. andrew mccarthy head of the organization here in baltimore. it is good to have you here on this program. >> thank you so much, tavis. good to see you. coming up next, correspondent for "the nation" magazine. stay with us. we are continuing our conversation about poverty in
america and what can be done and what should be done to her cat best to eradicate it. , every week,ularly about poverty in america. i celebrate you because you are one of the few people who beatally covers a poverty ea in this country. you also contribute to bill hope that's billmoyers.com. give the audience some sense of how ms. -- how miniscule the coverages. i managed that one out of two americans is in or just out of poverty here in >> if that -- if fascination was illiterate or had hiv/aids, we would have to do something or we would be in trouble. we can't seem to get a conversation about poverty and media doesn't talk about it.
of coverage in in mediait was 0.2% coverage. compare that to prominent news topics, politics, 16%. is this, for 4%. immigration, 1.4%. education 1.2%. a slight bit of improvement in 2011 and 2012 as we headed toward the presidential race your in 2011, we went to .22%. in 2012, january through may, .25%. so we got closer to the white house. it went of just a bit weird but it is still -- it went up just a bit. but millions of americans are trapped in a segment so many skill.
and i were pushing to answer questions about poverty. i am not exactly sure. you think it starts to change. i think we are all in the same boat right now, in terms of what is needed. unless you're are in the very top, you need [indiscernible] news struck before the poverty numbers came out in september. , emmanuel scions and thomas pick any, releasing a report showing you had gotten gains since the recovery. 95% of all gains in 2000 and top -- in 2009 went to the numeral one percent. -- top 1%. i have been waiting to see is people starting to see us in that, boat. vote.that common
you talk about it all the time. talking about needing better jobs and better wages. ne in four debates, that would be three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate. there was not a single question about poverty. not a single question posed to the vice president or mr. romney or mr. obama in three debates. that was just this cycle. we have gone back amber of use to a number of residential debates and there hasn't been even a civil solitary question about it. how is it that we elect the leader of the free world every four years and this issue can't be pushed higher in the agenda? color- is no longer coded. it is colorblind.
all people are victimized by it did why is it we can't get traction even on a conversation with people running for president? >> i'm starting to think, the more we do this work, it will really take a broad-based movement can it will really take us moving from, as you and i often say, why isn't there the political well/ i think the -- why isn't there the political will? i think it has to change to what are we doing to create the political will? we have some pretty good movements right now with immigration reform, marriage body, and i think that is what it will take in terms of addressing poverty. people going into the community, making it visible, standing to the best ending together, agitating, civil dissipating -- civil this up -- civil disobedience.
i don't care how good your talking points are or how great a report you right, nothing will change. nothing ever changes in this country without a significant movement. lyndon b. johnson, when he was president -- we are celebrating his start on the one abouty -- we are talking how to mobilize. in 2014, we will be celebrating the anniversary in the johnsons on poverty. four years later, in 2018, we will commemorate 50 years since mlk, dr. jane, focus the movement in his campaign. that is a four-year window. if this people who really care about this issue really blows,
we can push the syron the american agenda. because back to europe point. becauseet mobilize -- it gets back to your point. how we get mobilized. what is your sense writing about this every week? but im not an organizer, am talking to people. i am glad you mentioned about people working so hard just to survive i think we need to keep that in perspective. new poverty numbers showed that more than one in three americans is living below twice the poverty line. we know all of those people are able tong who are not pay for housing, health care,
education -- forget about cable. so you are right, we have to figure it had to reach these communities during there are a lot of -- communities. there are a lot of communities that need organizations that thing go into communications -- am not saying this is how you do it, but let's work of it and see how -- and see what you are doing right. they will be launching a campaign. they have worked on immigration and voter registration and affordable housing. working at the state-level chine to fashion campaigns around local issues, but also networks to create those kinds of federal demand. they are a good group that are doing something. tavis: they are one of our supported here in >> yes, i don't get any funding from there
best from the more any foundation money. tavis: they are one of our sponsors. >> yes, i don't get any funding from them or any foundation money. they have a track record here .n they brought together tens of ed them uplink virtually and what is important to them. their sights, set that is what will happen. since you are talking about the casey foundation, they
much as an enabler to do it is already happening. there was recently an award given. i think they really set a bar for what can be accomplished at the restaurants. they have the freedom from want thel to recognize roosevelt's four freedoms that he addressed in 1941. this is a group of farm workers and which, historically, the most powerless and low paid groups in the country. 20 years ago, they started working together to raise wages and form coalitions with able in the state, with students and other citizens and other workers. successfullyrkers raised wages through a hunger strike in 30 days in the 250
mile march. it did them five years, but they raised those wages. but then they realize, really, it was the buyers who are keeping their wages low. they won four years later. talk about started paying extra for the tomatoes here in -- bell started- taco paying extra for the tomatoes. if you create a coalition, you can achieve quite a bit. tavis: the point that you have raise in this conversation, i think that is the central point. it is past time for us to stop asking why there is no political will. and to raise the question that you raised -- what am i doing? how am i raising my agency to help push these issues and finding gay joint -- find engagement?
i celebrate him because he is one of the few people who covers this issue every single week on "the nation.com but mine if you want to know anything, ,"pe -- "the nation.com that is our show for tonight. as always, keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley on pbs.org. tavis: join me next time for a conversation with her pal per about this with her our best about hisalpert latest cd. see you then.